Your Panelists: Martin Reese, Screenwriter & Stage 32 "Writers' Room" Member Martin Reese hails from Cleveland, Ohio. The son of parents who introduced him to comic books, science fiction, and classic films he loved telling stories. In 2004 he wrote, produced and directed his first film, a horror short called SOUL POSSESSION. He published the storybook MULOGO AND HIS QUINTUPLE OF TROUBLE (Amazon), about a boy who accidentally conjures a five-headed dragon while under the tutelage of a wizard, based on his short screenplay of the same name. The short screenplay was a quarter-finalist in the 2014 Bluecat Screenplay Competition. He co-produced a short film based on his award-winning short horror screenplay THE SNEEZE (2018 Wildsound Festival Best Short Screenplay and the 2020 Madwerkz VFX Award). It was shot in LA and is currently in post production. He is the founder and administrator of the Facebook group PEOPLE OF COLOR SCI-FI FILMMAKERS COLLABORATIVE, an inclusive networking and learning space that encourages the creation of film projects in the genres of sci-fi, fantasy and horror that feature People of Color.His feature length horror script THE EYE OF OWUO was named a Winner in the Micro-Budget Horror Script Competition (2020). Martin lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio with his wife of 24 years Stephanie. Chaun Lee, Screenwriter & Stage 32 "Writers' Room" Member Chaun Lee is an Atlanta-based screenwriter with a sincere love of great stories. She has a complex background, having lived all over the world, from Alaska to Iraq. Her military and bi-racial beginnings have given her a unique perspective, which is both broad and non-ethnocentric. The projects she completed include pieces from multiple genres: romantic comedy; family, fantasy, and Sci-fi. She has a few projects underway which have a dedicated daily spot on her schedule, and, she has seen a little traction with her work over the past year. She is looking forward to and expecting great things ahead. Chris Torres, Screenwriter & Stage 32 "Writers' Room" Member Chris was run over by a train, had her head chopped off by an axe, and fed to countless vampires. This was all in service of her brother's backyard Super 8 movies. Thus, began a lifelong love affair with all things film. Born in New York, Chris spent her formative years relocating to a new locale every few years. Furthering her education in Film Studies, Chris watch classic Hollywood films and she spent countless hours fascinated by black and white screwball comedies which formed her groan worthy sense of humor and sparked her desire to share it with the world, one conversation at a time. This passion for snappy, clever dialogue (and sarcasm) carried through to College where she studied theater until her mother suggested she get a real major - philosophy. Chris paid her way through college by working as a production assistant in New York on such renowned productions as Awakenings, The Fisher King, and The Freshman. She attended law school at Washington and Lee University and graduated with her Juris Doctor. Christine joined the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office as a Prosecutor for the next six years.Never staying too far from the drama, Chris continued her education by taking classes at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts under the auspices of improving her trial skills. After all, courtroom trials are like a production - with a lot more improv.After an epiphany, and succumbing to peer pressure while volunteering at the Sundance Film Festival, Chris made the career decision to move to Los Angeles and become a filmmaker. She's never looked back. Christi Corbett, Author/Screenwriter & Stage 32 "Writers' Room" Member Christi Corbett an award-winning author of four novels. In 2019, she signed an option agreement with Higher Purpose Entertainment for her first script, an adaptation of her third novel. She will be the official screenwriter for the project as well. Christi graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Communications, and a minor in video production. She then got a job as evening news editor for a CBS affiliate in Green Bay, Wisconsin. After a while, she moved back home to the Seattle area to get married. She then worked on a few indie films, but ultimately decided to take a job as a TV commercial writer/producer in the Creative Services Department for a CBS affiliate in Duluth, Minnesota. She is the winner of the 2014 RONE Award for Best American Historical novel and the 2014 Laramie Award, lives in a small town in Oregon with her husband and their twin children. Your Moderators: Richard "RB" Botto, Stage 32 CEO Richard “RB” Botto is a producer whose films have played at dozens of festivals including the Sundance award-winning feature, Another Happy Day, starring Ellen Barkin, Demi Moore and Kate Bosworth and written & directed by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, What Lies Ahead, starring Rumer Willis & Emma Dumont, the documentary Crutch and the upcoming Rain-Beau’s End. As a writer, RB works on active writing assignments and has two features and a TV pilot in development. As an actor, his latest film On the Corner of Ego and Desire premiered at the 2018 Raindance Film Festival. RB is also the Founder and CEO of Stage 32 (stage32.com). Stage 32 is the world’s largest online platform connecting and educating film, TV & digital creatives and executives worldwide. Launched in 2011, the Stage 32 community has grown to over 500,000 creatives and features an educational library of over 1,000 hours of webinars and classes taught by over 500 industry executives. Stage 32 is recognized throughout the industry as an incubator of talent and is the official film education & networking platform of the Cannes Film Festival Marche du Film and AFM. Additionally, RB’s book Crowdsourcing For Filmmakers: Indie Film and the Power of the Crowd, was published by Focal Press/Routledge under the American Film Market Presents banner and quickly became one of their best-selling titles. It has hit #1 in 6 different film and business related categories on Amazon and Audible. The book can be found at the Focal Press/Routledge booth by AFM badge registration and on Amazon and Audible, where it has garnered over 90 5-star reviews. A sought after speaker, teacher and mentor, RB has been a keynote speaker and panelist at such festivals and conferences as Cannes, AFM, Tribeca, Sundance, Raindance, Hamburg, SXSW, Cinequest, ITVFest, Portugal FEST, Trinidad and Tobago and Winston Baker. He has also taught at institutions such as Harvard, USC and Columbia University on the subjects of filmmaking, producing, film finance, screenwriting, social media, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, entrepreneurship and business. Jason Mirch, Director of Script Services & Host of "The Writers' Room" Jason Mirch is a feature film and television producer and executive with over 15 years of experience. Jason also serves as the Director of Script Services at Stage 32 where he works directly with screenwriters, filmmakers, and leading industry executives. In addition to his work with Stage 32, Jason runs production and development for a company which produced low-budget genre pictures for an international audience, as well as serves as a business advisor to a successful post production vfx company which contributed to The Peanut Butter Falcon, Crawl, Martin Scorsese's Silence, Arctic, and Let them Talk for Steven Soderbergh and HBO. Most recently, he produced a 3D animated feature film starring Jacob Tremblay, Emmy-winner Christopher Lloyd, Oscar-winner Mel Brooks, Emmy-winner Kenan Thompson, and Emmy-winner Carol Kane. Mirch was the Head of Feature and Television Development at Image Nation, a finance and production company based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. There, he supervised the Image Nation contributions in the development of Flight, The Help, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Contagion, Careful What You Wish For, Ghost Rider 2, and 100 Foot Journey. Prior to his work at Image Nation, Mirch was Co-Head of Development at Storyline Entertainment (Oscar-winning Chicago, Footloose, The Bucket List) where he developed a slate of feature film projects for New Line, Paramount, Summit Ent., and CBS/Paramount. He also developed and sold television projects and mini-series to CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, and Lifetime. He has lectured on all areas of filmmaking, speaking on panels at the Producers Guild of America, Austin Film Festival, the Harvard Screenwriting Group, American Film Market, University of Southern California Film School, Chapman University School of Film & Television, NYU, as well as several international film festivals and markets. In addition, he has consulted brands, including Burberry and Creative Artists Agency. Full Bio »
The Stage 32 Writers’ Room has just surpassed a milestone achievement - 100 webcasts! For the last year and a half it has been the honor of Director of Script Services Jason Mirch to act as the humble host, guiding webcasts that include script and screenwriting breakdowns, virtual pitch sessions to industry professionals, one-on-one conversations with some of the biggest names in the business, and writing exercises that challenge our imaginations and sharpen our skills.
The goal of the Writers’ Room has always been to give writers all over the world the support, access, and education to thrive in their craft and career. Our recent Writers' Room guests have included Oscar-nominated Pixar writer Meg LeFauve, Billion Dollar Producer Amy Baer, AKEELAH AND THE BEE Filmmaker Doug Atchison, Universal Pictures Executive Ken Korba, A QUIET PLACE development executive Linsday Schwartz, GREEN HORNET producer Bradley Gallo, and many more - all of whom spoke and interacted directly with our members.
Several of our members have connected with each other and have swapped scripts, collaborated on projects, produced projects they have written, and writers have even been optioned by producers largely because of the Writers’ Room!
The Writers' Room is strong because of the incredible members who are serious about their craft and advancing their careers. So we are turning the spotlight over to some of our talented Writers' Room members who will tell us how they broke out in a highly competitive industry and achieved success during this Stage 32 Writers' Room Member Success Spotlight webcast!
During this webcast, Writer, Producer, Actor & Stage 32 CEO Rich "RB" Botto and Writer, Producer, and Director of Script Services Jason Mirch shine some light on members who have utilized the power of Stage 32 and the Writers' Room to achieve tremendous success in the industry and learn the secrets they have discovered for breaking out!
During this webcast the panel includes:
Screenwriter, Martin Reese, who received a $5,000 option agreement from Glass House Distribution and Trick Candle Productions for a script he developed with the help of the Writers' Room!
Screenwriter, Chris Torres, who landed representation with Manager Brooklyn Weaver of Energy Entertainment after being a part of the Writers' Room and being connected for a meeting by Stage 32!
Author and Screenwriter, Christi Corbett, who developed one of her novels into a screenplay which was then optioned by producer Brad Wilson of Higher Purpose Entertainment!
Screenwriter and Filmmaker, Chaun Lee, who used the power of Stage 32 and the Writers' Room to develop a short film which she then produced using local crew and cast in Atlanta just prior to lockdown!
Writers' Room 100th Webcast Celebration Panelist & Moderators
Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.
Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.
Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer
Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.
Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!
So you’ve finally fleshed out your ideas for your next TV project and you’re off to the races developing your next screenplay. While working on your pilot, you’re constantly reminded of the one thing that every executive looks for: CHARACTER CHARACTER CHARACTER. Every executive says they want to read compelling characters. But what exactly does that mean? And how do you accomplish this? Literary Manager Conrad Sun represents TV writers in all genres for shows such as Blindspot, Two Broke Girls and Bojack Horseman and is a master at building character in scripts. In this top rated Stage 32 Next Level Webinar Conrad will teach you how to bring your characters to life and go from good to GREAT. You will learn empathy vs. sympathy and how the best characters invoke both feelings from your audience. Conrad will breakdown real-life examples from characters on shows such as Fargo, Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos and more. And, most importantly, you'll walk away learning how to apply character development to your own writing. This webinar is vital to help you strengthen your TV pilot!
Stage 32 is committed to bringing you entertainment, education, and community from the comfort and safety of your own home. Our Script Services Coordinator, Nick Assunto, has procured an amazing slate of talented and funny actors and Stage 32 members to read his pilot The Conspiracists, a half-hour sci-fi comedy. During this exciting virtual event, you will get an exclusive look behind the scenes of a professional television table read. Watch as the actors make the script come alive for the very first time. This is a rare opportunity to peel back the curtain go behind the scenes to watch and see a script workshopped directly with professionals. Our fearless leader, Richard "RB" Botto kicked off a night of hanging out virtually. You'll get a chance to laugh along courtesy of some Stage 32 members who are incredible actors from your favorite tv shows and improv theaters including The Upright Citizens Brigade, Second City, and The Pack. Cindy Chu - playing Helena Francois (New Girl, Hawaii Five-0, MacGyver) Angela Cristantello - playing Beatrix Baker (Agent Carter, 9-1-1) Nican Robinson - playing Greg Shepherd (13 Reasons Why, Thunder Road) Carolyn Deskin - playing Mee Moo and Super Professional Sue (Water's Edge, Sorrow) Rama Vallury - playing Turkey Hemingway, Sweaty Phil, Nervous Intern, Boss Man and Bus Drive (Happy Ending, AOK) Ramona Apthorp - playing Pickle Frost PLUS! after the table read we did a Q&A with the actors, writer Nick Assunto, our fearless leader Richard Botto and our Director of Script Services, Jason Mirch moderated by our Managing Director Amanda Toney so you will get the perspective from everyone involved about the table read! What a great way to have fun and learn! Mark your Calendar! LIVE Online Table Read of the Comedy Pilot "The Conspiracists" Friday, March 27th at 7 pm PST Please help support your fellow Stage 32ers by sharing this on social. Check out the social media buttons at the top to share on Instagram @stage32online , Twitter @stage32 , Facebook @stage32 , and LinkedIn @stage-32 .
As the world of television continues to fragment, streaming platforms (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV) have become major players. More and more of these platforms are moving into original content, which means the number of new shows being produced has never been higher. However, these platforms have different needs, different expectations and different boundaries and mandates than those of traditional broadcast networks. So how does a creative navigate this brave new world? And how does a writer stand out to get staffed or sell a standout drama series? This webinar will explain in comprehensive detail how drama series are pitched, developed, and sold to streaming platforms and what you can do as a writer to position yourself to get noticed. The world of streamers is changing quickly. New platforms are coming online seemingly by the month, and with each one, the rules and the mandates continue to change. In many ways the world of TV streaming platforms is like the Wild Wild West, overwhelming and hard to nail down. At the same time, that's what makes it so exciting - the opportunities are limitless. But with so many writers vying for an opportunity to sell or be staffed on a show, it’s incredibly important to understand the changing landscape and know the best ways to operate within it. Having a clear sense of how executives at streamers think and what they’re looking for will give you a distinct advantage in adjusting your script to pique their interest or in presenting yourself more effectively to sell your show or get staffed on one of their growing number of series. Spencer Robinson is a literary and talent manager at Art/Work Entertainment who's been in the industry for over twenty years. His clients have been in films with directors Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Clint Eastwood, Gore Verbinski and more. In the TV world, his clients have been regular cast members on shows for Netflix, The CW, Cinemax, CBS, NBC, FX, Starz, Nickelodeon, EPIX, and TBS, to name a few. His writing clients work in both features and television on broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms. He currently has a client writing on two Netflix series, and another client who just sold a show to Amazon. He also reps a writer who currently has a project at Aggregate Films, which has a deal at Netflix. Spencer will use his extensive experience working with writers and selling their shows to streamers to share some of the do’s and don’ts of writing a drama pilot for streaming television and outline how to tailor your script to make the best impression with the executives at these platforms. He will do this by first laying out how the streaming platforms differ from one another and what exactly they're looking for. Not all streaming platforms are created equal and it's imperative you know the difference. From there, Spencer will dive into script structure and formatting, specifically analyzing what you should be considering before you write your pilot. Next, he will tackle staffing and sales, so no matter what your goal whether to be in a writer's room or selling your pilot, you have all the information you need to position yourself correctly and with the best chance of success. Spencer will even get into the difference between streaming platforms and broadcast networks so you can determine where your material might be a best fit. Expect to leave this class with a comprehensive understanding of the shifting industry of streaming television and a toolkit to better excel within it. Like what you heard from Spencer during this webcast? Send your script to Spencer and speak with him for an hour by clicking here. Praise for Spencer's Stage 32 webinar: Spencer was awesome! Super informative and detail driven - providing great insights. Packed so much into a short amount of time which I'm super grateful for! -Eric C. Spencer Robinson has high energy and packs a ton of information in his lecture. Most importantly Spencer gives realistic advice while encouraging writers to move forward fully informed of the terrain. -Oweeda N. Spencer opened my eyes to how the TV world works with broadcast and streaming. What a great crash course! -Ricki L. "Very enlightening. Gave a realistic view of how difficult it is to get a pilot made but was just inspiring enough to give hope. :)" -Clive M.
Learn directly from Diane Messias, a former BBC Comedy Producer and Director! How many times have you watched a funny show and thought 'I can do that'? Or expected to laugh, but not heard any jokes? Perhaps you feel your whole existence is just one long comedy script, and it's your mission to show how art imitates life... ...whatever your motivation, sitcom writing is fun, safe, and you can try it at home! As with other genres, there are rules and techniques, tricks of the trade and logistical considerations to contemplate, all of which Diane Messias will discuss in this instructional webinar. If you're passionate about witty dialogue, or curious about plot creation, prepare for the mysteries of good comic writing to unfold. Join Diane Messias, a 30-year veteran in comedy and former Director & Producer from the BBC, who's long list of credits include the UK's best loved sitcom, One Foot in the Grave. For more of Diane's bio, click here.
Learn directly from award-winning Line Producer and former EVP of Production for Indigenous Media, Maura Anderson (Winter’s Bone, Suit Up, Would You Rather)! Webinar will include live examples of schedules, budgets, wrap binders, etc. from films she's worked on! Every project, whether it’s a movie, a TV show or web series, or even reality TV works off the same basic blueprint. You need a script, a schedule, a budget, and lastly someone with a plan to manage all of the elements you need to shoot, from cast and crew to locations and equipment. This person is the Line Producer. Most people don’t know the scope of what a Line Producer actually does. How does one make a budget? What goes into it? How do you devise a realistic plan to shoot a movie and how do you seamlessly make it happen? Maybe you’ve managed to finish one movie, but how do you repeat that over and over? Do I really need a budget for my $100k film? (Hint: the answer is Yes!) Maura Anderson is an award winning Line Producer who has worked on films and TV series such as Academy Award nominated Winter’s Bone, Would You Rather, and Suit Up. She's the former EVP of Production for Indigenous Media, a next generation digital studio focused on producing original content for digital and emerging platforms worldwide. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Maura will take an in depth look at all the steps a line producer takes from script stage to years after the film is made. Using materials from actual films, she’ll discuss how a script is turned into a schedule and a budget. You’ll learn how to build out your team and how you can create long lasting relationships. You’ll also learn the basics of setting up a film’s infrastructure. Lastly she’ll look at enacting the brilliant plan that you came up with and what that looks like in terms of prep, shooting and wrap. Having filmed in many places and situations, from the Ozark Mountains to the Alaskan Tundra, and with budgets ranging from $30k to $10M, Maura discusses everything from the minuscule details to the broader strokes of making a film.
As an independent filmmaker or producer, you likely start working on a new endeavor for creative reasons—the chance to tell an amazing story, build worlds, create something of cultural value. Yet this is, of course, not the only element of filmmaking. Like it or not, your independent film is not just a creative endeavor; it’s also a business. You’re sourcing financing and bringing in investors, building a team, and creating a property that will (hopefully) ultimately make money not only in the present, but for years to come. In short, you’re not just a making a piece of art; you’re also running a business. To operate successfully in the world of independent film and continue to make films that you’re proud of, you need to be able to think like an entrepreneur and understand the dynamics and the relation between financing, distribution and recoupment of film investments. Further, you need to open up your creative mindset to the myriad opportunities available all over the world including hot markets found throughout Latin America. The business side of films is often especially difficult for filmmakers and creative producers, but the more you understand, the better your chances of finding a production partner or investor to take your vision forward. Latin American film production is booming right now, diverse with a variety of production hubs all over the region. Big budget international films shoot alongside local films with relatively low budgets, all created for both local and international audiences. Working in the Latin American market, especially with films in the sub-$1MM range can offer you opportunities you haven't thought of before and give you a path to profitability. But to take advantage of this surging market, you need to understand the variety of production and financing options available and how to tap into them. Whether it's hard money, soft money or other methods toward financing and securing the necessary pieces to greenlight your project, getting a handle on the in's and out's of how to proceed will put you in a powerful and advantageous position. Understanding and executing this business model will open new doors to other productions around the world and serve to create a portfolio of proof that will serve as a calling card moving forward. David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management specifically in the US, Latin America and $ope. As an international film business specialist David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America. David is intimately familiar with how independent films are financed and made profitable all over the world and will share what he knows exclusively about the Latin American market with the Stage 32 community. David will focus on the Latin American market and walk you through what you need to know to finance your independent film, $1MM or less, and leave profitable. He will begin by explaining what a $1MM or under budget looks like in the Latin American region and whether it’s considered a small film. He’ll delve into how film financing works specifically in Latin America, including a breakdown of soft money sources versus hard money sources, local vs international productions, forming a co-production as a financing tool, tax and location incentives, taking advantage of government support, and working with film commissions. He will highlight how Latin American film financing is different compared to other regions and how both Spanish speaking and English speaking content works within the region and will go over the notable platforms and TV channels available as well as how they differ. David will outline the production capacities in the region, including for in-house production, co-productions, production servicing, and work-for hire. He will then teach you what specifically Latin America can offer foreign productions, including incentives, co-productions, talent, and shooting locations. He will also discuss how Latin America has its eye on the US, Spain, and the rest of Europe. David will explain how to approach your film as an asset, how to see yourself as an entrepreneur, and how to see filmmaking as a business. David will then go over the continental circle of financing, distribution, and investment recoupment and will explain how revenue and right management works as well as managing your recoupment. He will spend time delving into Latin American film contracts, including distribution agreements, CAM agreements, and sales agency agreements. David will ultimately illustrate whether Latin American films can be profitable and how, and analyze with you when a Latin American film can be considered successful, whether it breaks even or finds profitability. Plus, David will show a case study of a real $1MM Latin American film to illustrate how a film of this leve l can be profitable and exactly how the money flows through from beginning to end. He’ll show financing documents and spreadsheets to illustrate the financing structure and demonstrate how money flows in and out. Through this detailed and practical demonstration, you will leave with strategies and a deep understanding of how to approach your own $1MM film as an entrepreneur and build a finance structure that will leave you and your investors profitable. This Stage 32 Webinar is Part 2 in David’s "Think Like an Entrepreneur" series. Click here to check out David’s webinar on being profitable in US marketplace with a sub-$1MM film and click here to check out his webinar on being profitable in the European marketplace Praise for David's Previous Stage 32 Webinars "David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." - Cynthia P. "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." - Gary O. "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." Kirk K. "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" - Isabella T.